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Johnny Murtagh: This 3/1gift can deliver at Dundalk just in time for Christmas

by Johnny Murtagh | December 4, 2015

A horse that deserves to get his head in front is FAST IN THE WIND . He’s been chinned twice at the all-weather track on his last two starts but is back down to 5f where he was beaten a nose by Kimbay two starts ago. He’s plenty of pace, a decent draw in stall seven and should go close.

True Companion was a nice winner here last month from You Gotta Move and could be improving but I’m going to go with GIFT WRAP . It’s owned by Godolphin and was third here to Marsha last month over the minimum trip but steps up to 7f now.

Kevin Manning rides Jessica Harrington’s Rocknrollbaby who sets the standard in the 6.35pm.
But she was only a neck in front of debutant HIGH HONCHO when they were third and fourth to Peticoatgovernment two weeks ago.

The two-year-olds do improve from their first run at Dundalk once they’ve raced on the sand and under lights and you could expect three to five-lengths improvement from that first run.

Tommy Stack had a nice winner with Victorious Secret last week (after she had earlier finished third on debut here) and could repeat the trick again.

The 7.05 is a very good race and there’s a few with chances. Political Policy is a dual winner up there this season and looks an improving four-year-old while Strait of Zanzibar is a classy sort and if things fall right for him he could have a say in the finish and gets the box 1 draw which is a big help.

But TOCATTA BLUE is consistent and went very close the last couple of times here and maybe worth another shot for Ger Lyons’ yard.

Dundalk-840-x-400

The Apprentice Handicap has been split in two and the first division looks to be the best race.

HATCH HALL is on a four-timer and has a good apprentice on board in Connor King and can go close again with maybe top-weight Ridestan one for the places.

Aidan O’Brien saddles CREDIT THE GIVER in the second division and even though he carries a lot of weight he’s run when second to Brosnan gives him a leading chance. A bit further down the handicap is Shake the Bucket for the Madden team who could go well and be a bit of value. He’s dropped a good bit down the ratings but is a course winner.

Improver

Automated was just run out of it last week by Political Party and should go close in the 8.35pm. But Pat Smullen is an eye-catching booking for Mick Halford’s ALAMGIYR who was fourth on debut last April at Navan and could have plenty of improvement to come.

The finale is a good race with plenty of last-time out winners in it. It’s very competitive but I still think there’s a race to be won with POITIN who has been there or thereabouts in his last few starts without winning.

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